|Subdivisions||Districts: 5, Municipalities: 26|
|o Governor||Tomikazu Fukuda|
|o Total||6,408.09 km2 (2,474.18 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|o Density||300/km2 (790/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-09|
|Tree||Japanese horse chestnut|
Tochigi Prefecture (, Tochigi-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kant? region of Honshu. Tochigi Prefecture has a population of 1,943,886 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 6,408 km² (2,474 sq mi). Tochigi Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Gunma Prefecture to the west, Saitama Prefecture to the south, and Ibaraki Prefecture to the southeast.
Utsunomiya is the capital and largest city of Tochigi Prefecture, with other major cities including Oyama, Tochigi, and Ashikaga. Tochigi Prefecture is one of only eight landlocked prefectures and its mountainous northern region is a popular tourist region in Japan. The Nasu area is known for its onsens, local sake, and ski resorts, the villa of the Imperial Family, and the Nasushiobara station of the Shinkansen railway line. The city of Nikk?, with its ancient Shint? shrines and Buddhist temples, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Situated among the inland prefectures of the northern part of the Kant? region, Tochigi is contiguous with Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, and Fukushima Prefectures.
The climate of Tochigi may be classified as a humid temperate zone with broad variations in temperature. Winters are arid with dry winds, while summers are humid with frequent thunderstorms.
The population of Tochigi as of November 2010 is approximately 2,005,096.
Located in the center of the prefecture is the largest open plain in the Kant? region. Shirane (2,578 metres (8,458 ft)), Nantai (2,484 metres (8,150 ft)) and Nasudake (1,917 metres (6,289 ft)) mountain are in the northern part of the area. Kinugawa, Nakagawa, and Watarase River originate in this region, which flow across the Kanto plain before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Tochigi is the 20th largest prefecture in Japan with a total area of 6,408.09 square km.
In the early 15th century, Ashikaga Gakk?, Japan's oldest school of higher education, was re-established, holding over 3,000 students by the 16th century. Saint Francis Xavier introduced Ashikaga to the world as the best university in Japan.
In the early 17th century, Japan was unified by the sh?gun Tokugawa Ieyasu. After his death, T?sh?-g? shrine was built in Nikk? on what the sh?guns thought of as holy ground to protect and worship Ieyasu. The establishment of the Nikk? T?sh?-g? in 1617 brought Nikk? to national attention. The Tokugawa shogunate developed the Nikk? Kaid? (?, part of the major road connecting Nikk? with Edo) and required lavish processions to worship Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa line of sh?guns.
In the late 19th century, the Tokugawa Shogunate fell and the new government established the prefectures. The prefectural capital was established in the city of Tochigi after the unification of Utsunomiya Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture in 1873. By 1884, however, the capital was transferred to Utsunomiya.
Fourteen cities are located in Tochigi Prefecture:
These are the towns in each district:
|Term of office|
|37-38||Jyukichi Kodaira (?)
|12 April, 1947||4 February, 1955|
|39||Kichi Ogawa (?)
|5 February, 1955||4 February, 1959|
|40-43||Nobuo Yokokawa (?)
|5 February, 1959||7 December, 1974|
|44-46||Yuzuru Funada ()
|8 December, 1974||8 December, 1984|
|47-50||Fumio Watanabe (?)
|9 December, 1984||8 December, 2000|
|51||Akio Fukuda (?)
|9 December, 2000||8 December, 2004|
|52-55||Tomikazu Fukuda (?)
|9 December, 2004||Present|
Industrial manufacturing accounts for 36.6% of the prefecture's total output. Vehicle parts and accessories are the primary products, followed by vehicles, radios and televisions, pharmaceuticals, and wireless communication equipment.
Below are goods manufactured in Tochigi with the highest market share in Japan:
|X-ray equipment for medical use||54.5%|
|Machinery and appliances for dental use||23.5%|
|X-ray equipment parts||57.5%|
|Injection molded plastic parts||14.1%|
(The 2004 industrial analysis report published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)
The annual gross agricultural output in Tochigi is about 274 billion yen. Rice, vegetables, and livestock are produced in the region. Tochigi is also known for strawberries, Chinese chives, and Japanese pears sold throughout Japan and exported to other countries. Approximately 55% of Tochigi is covered by forests. Mushrooms, such as Shiitake mushrooms, make up half of the forest industry, with an output of approximately 5.6 billion yen.
Tochigi is home to many universities and colleges including those for science and technology, literature, medicine, education, and art. Below is an alphabetical list of some of the universities located in Tochigi.
The sports teams and events listed below are based in Tochigi.
Nikk? National Park is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site which was registered as the 10th World Heritage Site in 1999. This encompasses Rinn?-ji, Nikk? T?sh?-g?, Mount Nantai, and Futarasan Shrine. The Kegon Falls, also in Nikk?, is popular with tourists. To travel between the city and the falls, automobiles and buses take the Irohazaka, a road with dozens of switchbacks. In addition, 400-year-old Japanese Cedars (about 13,000 in total) line the famous Cedar Avenue of Nikk? for roughly 35 km, making it the longest tree-lined avenue in the world.
A more recent and modern attraction is the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit race course, which hosts the only IndyCar race outside the United States. The track also hosts many other race events including Formula One and motorcycle races as well as festivals and fireworks events.
Tochigi has many traditional festivals and events such as Nikk? T?sh?-g?'s 1000 Samurai Procession and Horseback Archery Festival, and the city of Tochigi's Autumn Festival where doll floats are pulled around the city once every five years.
Other attractions include:
Traversing the prefecture along the north-south axis and connecting to the rest of the country are the T?hoku Expressway and the new and old Route 4. From east to west spans Route 50, connecting southern Tochigi with Ibaraki and Gunma Prefectures.
Also connecting Tochigi, Gunma, and Ibaraki is the Kita-Kant? Expressway, with the 18.5 km that connect the Tochigi-Tsuga Interchange and the Utsunomiya-Kaminokawa Interchange. Portions of the Kita-Kant? Expressway are still being constructed and is set to be fully completed by 2011. The highway will link the region's other main transport arteries, the T?hoku, the J?ban and the Kan-Etsu Expressways, providing a link to the international port of Hitachinaka in Ibaraki.
The T?hoku Shinkansen and the JR Utsunomiya Line are the main railways running north and south in Tochigi. Shinkansen runs from Tokyo Station to Oyama in south Tochigi in 43 minutes. Utsunomiya can be reached by rail in as little as 48 minutes, and many parts of Tochigi are within commuting range of central Tokyo. To the east and west, the Mito and Ry?m? Lines connect Tochigi to Ibaraki and Gunma.
Freight is served by the Utsunomiya Freight Terminal.
Fukushima Airport is approximately an hour's drive from Utsunomiya on the T?hoku Expressway. International and national air transportation is through Narita International Airport to the east of Tokyo, approximately three hours by vehicle from Utsunomiya.